A developer’s proposed $90 million mixed-use development in St. Pete Beach is inching closer to breaking ground.
Earlier this month, the St. Pete Beach city commissioners unanimously approved the allocation of 150 dwelling units from the city’s residential pool reserve, which allows developer Ram Realty Advisors to create 243 luxury residential units for its Corey Landing project.
The entire vision for Corey Landing entails building 243 Class-A residential units, along with 12,000 square feet of retail and commercial space, and 5,000 square feet of restaurant space on four acres at the east end of Corey Avenue.
The property is adjacent to The Blue Parrot and includes the site of the former Leverock’s restaurant.
The city commission also approved conditional use approval for commercial docks and plans for the waterfront, dock-up restaurant.
The approval is one of several steps needed toward making the waterfront development a reality. South Florida-based real estate firm Ram Realty Advisors is the group behind the project.
Corey Landing would be seven stories high and would wrap around the parking garage, shielding the garage from view.
“We’ve been working it for over a year already to get to where we are today,” said Travis Williams, vice president for development with Ram Realty Advisors.
Williams added how Ram Realty Advisors specializes in high-end luxury developments and has funds earmarked for this project.
A major component of Corey Landing is a 0.7-acre linear public park, which would turn the vacant site deemed as an “eyesore” into a vibrant meeting place and connect to the proposed docks that would surround the waterfront property. The city would retain the entitlements to the park while the developer would be responsible for redeveloping it. The park would feature bike racks and a waterfront overlook.
Site maps presented to the city show the project would be broken up into two main areas.
Area one includes the proposed dock-up restaurant that would have 3,500 square feet of indoor dining space and 1,500 square feet of outdoor space. It’s the same area where the public docks would be located.
The second area includes the 243 residential units and the 12,000 square feet of commercial and retail space, which encompasses 8,264 square feet of retail and 3,959 square feet of co-working/commercial space adjacent to the planned public park. The retail would be located on the corner of Bay Street and Corey Avenue.
Attorney Elise Batsel, with the law firm of Sterns, Weaver and Miller, reiterated how the client’s proposed project aligns with the city’s 2015 Corey Avenue Vision Plan, which outlines goals for Corey Avenue such as creating housing, a public space, and overall an east-end anchor to spur economic activity.
The site is currently zoned TC-2, which permits residential and commercial use.
The team also noted how the property currently takes in $94,000 in tax revenue, but the development would bring in $1.3 million of annual revenue for the city.
However, city commissioners discussed how residents have expressed concerns for the project, such as the density with the number of units and scale of the project, and the vehicular traffic it may bring.
“We want a pretty city, not just a pretty area. They [the developers] are trying to make the math work for an amenity-rich project,” commissioner Melinda Pletcher said, explaining the need for balance in the city as well as the city’s goals to help raise the Corey Avenue corridor. “When you come over that bridge, it [Corey Landing] sets the vibrancy and the bar a lot higher.”
As far as the concern with the flow of traffic, a traffic study was completed and it was determined the roads can handle the increased activity, City Manager Alex Rey said.
Ram Realty Advisors is known for other sophisticated projects, such as Curv in Fort Lauderdale, which Williams had previously compared to the Corey Landing site. The urban infill mixed-use Curv development was completed last year. It is on three acres of land and includes an eight-story luxury apartment complex with Whole Foods as the anchor.
The team is working with North Carolina-based design consultant Kimley-Horn and Florida-based LRK (Looney Ricks Kiss) Architects.
The next step is for the city to review the conditional use permit, on Feb. 2.
Ram Realty Advisors LLC acquires and develops retail, multifamily, and mixed-use properties in select high-growth markets throughout the Southeast. The investments are capitalized by Ram-sponsored discretionary private equity funds and institutional co-investment vehicles. Since 1996, Ram has deployed in excess of $3.5 billion of capital. Ram and its predecessor entities were founded in 1978. The company is headquartered in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, and has offices in Tampa, Florida; Charlotte and Chapel Hill, North Carolina; and Nashville, Tennessee. www.ramrealestate.com
On behalf of Ram Realty Advisors:
Alchemy Communications Group
office: 561.935.9953 ext. 101
Ram Realty Advisors